Gas prices climb for fifth straight week as oil surges

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The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose slightly for the fifth week in a row, climbing 2.9 cents from a week ago, according to an industry expert. 

Currently, the national average is sitting at $3.34 per gallon, according to GasBuddy, which compiled price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. 

The current figure reflects a nearly 76-cent increase per gallon compared to a month ago and a nearly 93-cent increase per gallon compared to a year ago, according to the data.  

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Petrol prices are seen displayed at a Conoco gas station, a brand owned by Phillips 66, in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 11, 2021.  (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly / Reuters Photos)

Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a blog post Monday that the continued uptick at the pump is because oil prices are being "pushed into territory unseen in over seven years." 

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The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil hit $88 per barrel in overnight trading Sunday, the highest level since 2014, before dipping to $87.50 per barrel on Monday. 

Although the increases at the pump have been small, they will "likely" continue, De Haan said. 

"With continued concerns over geopolitical tensions and crude oil supply, the small yet noticeable increases are likely to continue," De Haan said in the blog post. 

Gas prices grow along with inflation as this sign at a gas station shows in San Diego, California, Nov. 9, 2021.  (Reuters/Mike Blake / Reuters Photos)

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The key that's been keeping "prices from rising more substantially is that gasoline demand remains low as winter storms keep motorists closer to home," De Haan added. 

However, as the weather begins to get warmer, "we’ll lose the only restraint to larger price increases."

Previously, De Haan projected that there may be an increase of 10 to 20 cents per gallon every month starting in March through Memorial Day. 

By June, GasBuddy estimated that the national average price for a gallon of gasoline could climb to a high of $4.13.

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